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We conducted a comparative analysis of UK broadband infrastructure (coverage, competition, quality), including an outlook for future development

Project experience | Consulting

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The problem

  • In the context of Ofcom’s ten-year Strategic Review of Digital Communications, and in response to Ofcom’s stated ambition for a third fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network to cover 40% of premises in the UK, BT required comparative analysis of the UK’s broadband infrastructure, including the outlook for future development

The solution

  • BT engaged Analysys Mason to conduct analysis in two areas: 
    • an updated benchmarking exercise to compare the UK against a range of developed broadband markets
    • new economic analysis to consider the economic viability of a third FTTP operator 

The Result

  • The benchmarking analysis showed that the UK was performing well on a range of benchmarks, including coverage, availability of 10Mbit/s and average broadband speeds. The benchmarks also considered take-up of NGA broadband services
  • The report also considered the overlap between infrastructures in different European markets
  • Finally, we estimated the economic viability of a third FTTP operator in the UK. Under our base-case assumptions, we found that due to the highly competitive nature of the UK market, a third network operator aiming for a network with 40% coverage of premises would face significant investment risk, and that a range of around 4–7% coverage of UK premises would be a more likely viable result
  • Our final report was published by BT, and is available at: https://www.btplc.com/UKDigitalFuture/GridModules/Industryreports/Analysys_Mason_final_report_for_BT_3_Oct_2016a.pdf